Samsung ST500 and ST550 digital cameras – here’s looking at you(rself)

The ultimate camera for the self-adoring, Samsung’s new ST500 and ST550 digital cameras embrace the adage that two is always better than one, with dual LCD screens on their tiny bodies.

An innovative 1.5 inch LCD on the front of the camera makes it simple to align pictures for self portraits, and the 9 cm (3.5 inch), 800 x 400 screen on the back shows you the final result in full glory. The 12.2 megapixel ST550 ($499) can also record HD video in a resolution of 1280 x 720p at 30 frames per second in H.264 format, has a 4.6x optical zoom and an HDMI connection means you can hook the camera directly to a high definition flat-screen TV to enjoy your handiwork immediately.

There’s also a couple of other neat uses of the front screen. One is its use in self-timer shots. You set the time period of the delay in the camera’s menu, and then as that time runs out the front screen displays a countdown from 3 seconds out, so you know exactly when the shot will be taken.

The second terrific use of the front screen is one that parents of young children will love. Again going into the camera’s menu, select ‘Kids’ in the Scenes menu, and on the front screen a short cartoon will display. Net result, it grabs your child’s attention and it has them looking at the camera, the diversion hopefully getting you the shot of your short-attention-span-easily-distracted-and-fast-moving offspring that you’re after.

Samsung’s ‘Smart Gesture’ functionality allows users to operate the camera using gestures to control the camera, a bit like the iPhone.

The ST500 ($449) baby brother sports the same dual LCD screens and is virtually identical, bar the loss of video out capability.